Holiday Stress Can Pack on the Pounds

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RENO, NV -- For most of us, Christmas is the the most wonderful time of the year. There are some who dread the holidays and the stress that comes along with it. An expert shows how you can deal with these seasonal issues.

With just hours before Christmas, people in Reno are scrambling to find the perfect gifts to put under the tree.

"I've got to get my mom some gifts and she's in the store right now so that's my biggest stress," said one woman doing some last-minute shopping.

Whether it's last-minute shopping or spending time with extended family, people often feel overwhelmed by high, unrealistic expectations.

"I just think there are a lot of expectations that get built into the holidays that sometimes get in the way of enjoying them for what they actually are," Dr. Laura Drucker, a local psychologist, said. "The expectations for the holidays sometimes measure against the fact that everyone is supposed to be happy and cheerful and if we're not happy and cheerful, it makes it harder for us to feel like it's okay to be wherever we're at."

Consumer Reports shows that one of the biggest gripes is gaining weight.

"I've gained some weight; you can do something about it, but it's the season! it's winter," a local man said.

If it's not packing on the pounds, it's packing the stores. 48% of Americans surveyed are mostly irritated by the aggressive driving in shopping center parking lots during the couple of days leading up to Christmas, shopping for last-minute gifts.

"For children, I think parents often stress that their children are going to get disappointed if they don't get everything off their list, but what kids really remember are the family traditions that are less to do with the gifts, and more with the time that we spend with each other."

So it's not worth the headache to be perfect. Dr. Drucker suggests to just breathe and enjoy the moment.